I am a big fan of cop and legal dramas and have watched endless TV episodes of Law and Order, The Good Wife and The Closer, where brave public servants help victims of a variety of crimes. But, something is missing! I think it is time someone pitched a new television show about projects. This new show would address the crimes that occur during a troubled software implementation engagement, perhaps called “Project Handover Red!”. If you work in a big ticket software, technical support organization then you and your team members have likely been the victim of a customer project handover gone wrong.  This is not asRead More →

Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  I think he may have been in technical support! Technical support and customer support leaders must begin to think of their top priority as incident prevention not incident management. Incident management focuses on reacting to customer demand (incidents, tickets, questions) and solving problems. It’s about reducing case aging, reducing backlog, achieving service levels and achieving case closure SLAs. And… as I mentioned in a previous post, there is a BIG problem with problem solving as it happens too late in the process. In most cases, once there is an incident, weRead More →

Q4 is approaching and it will soon be time to evaluate and update your technical support organization’s customer focused metrics for 2012.  To get started, I recommend that you consider customer metrics in two categories, “work in process” and “service delivery”. Work in process metrics focus on the cases or tickets that are still open and include measurements such as backlog, backlog ratio, average age and internal service level achievement. Service delivery metrics focus on the end of the support process, at the time or after the service has been delivered. These measurements include SLA (also called average days to close) and customer satisfaction. Today’sRead More →

If you are in an operations role, you likely enjoy problem solving. It can be fun, challenging and satisfying. But, there is a BIG problem with problem solving….it happens too late in the process. At that point, we did not meet our customers’ needs, we missed our performance goals or we spent more than what we budgeted. In addition, when we invest most of our time in problem solving and fighting fires, we no longer have the time for more value added activities like coaching, training, mentoring, strategic planning etc. Problem prevention is where the party is!  By focusing most of our time on problemRead More →